SRINAGAR: The scene inside Ward 9 of SMHS hospital in Srinagar turned emotional when Sheraz Ahmad Ahanger, 26, spoke to his mother in Murran (Pulwama) telling her, “I am hit by pellets. But you don’t worry, I am alright.”
Then, unable to hold his emotions for long, he let out a loud cry and said, “I wish it was a bullet. It hurts…It hurts badly, mother.”
Everybody around him – small crowd of friends, well-wishers, local journalists and photographers, other pellet victims – began crying.
A friend, who was sitting at the corner of his bed, quickly snatched phone from his hand and assured his wailing mother, “he is alright, just a bit frightened”.
But everybody around could see that Ahanger was not frightened but in pain, and why not, he has more than hundred pellets in his body.
Then to everybody’s surprise, Ahanger, who had half of his face covered with fresh bandage, circling over his pellet hit right eye, stood up on his bed and took off his trouser, then his shirt. “See how they treat us,” he shouted. “See what a Kashmiri gets from India.”
Ahanger was among seven pellet hit victims from Murran area of Pulwama brought to SMHS hospital in Srinagar on Wednesday afternoon.
The incident took place when locals, responding to a call from elders, began preparations for a pro-freedom rally in Murran village.
Everybody was upbeat as word has been spread among the youngsters that no one will pelt stones at forces, or try to provoke them in any way.
The elders from the locality had asked them to stay vigilant against “agents” who might try to sabotage the rally.
But at 8:45 am, when people from the area started to assemble at Murran chowk, around 70 armoured vehicles, carrying hundreds of CRPF, STF and local police men cordoned off the area, said Nazir (name changed), an eyewitness.
“Then all of a sudden they charged into residential areas, into lanes and by-lanes, and thrashed everyone in sight,” he said.
“They (forces) damaged everything they could; fired pellets and bullets at anyone they saw; beat everybody whom they caught. It was sheer terror.”
“For next three hours we were at the mercy of Allah only,” said Ahmad (name changed), who received pellets in his face, abdomen, arms, legs, back and neck.
At least three people were admitted at Bone and Joints hospital Barzulla, with broken bones, said Ahmad. “I have no idea how many more were brought after me. I am yet to call my father.”